Obesity costs the NHS £4.2 billion a year and without urgent and radical action, this will rise to £10 billion a year by 2050.

Key points

  • The UK is currently facing a childhood obesity epidemic, with almost 1 in 5 children leaving primary school obese 
  • Only 1 in 5 parents say they received useful information or support from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)
  • Less than a third of children in England are achieving recommended activity levels
  • 4 in 5 parents support introducing a daily hour of active ‘fun and play’ in primary schools
  • Three quarters of parents support stronger regulation of junk food advertising online
  • Sugary drinks account for 30% of 4-10 year olds’ daily sugar intake
  • A tax of 20p per litre could prevent or delay 200,000.

Calls to action

  • Reform or scrap the ‘fat letter’ to primary school parents
  • Introduce a daily hour of ‘fun and play’ in primary schools and measures to make walking and cycling safer for children
  • Restrict junk food advertising to children online and on social media
  • End junk food sponsorship of family and sporting events
  • Reformulation of food and drinks high in sugar, including introducing a ‘sugar tax’ on sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Improve training for health and other workers to offer advice to parents during pregnancy and early years cases of obesity in the UK.

Demand stronger action